Bill O'Brien opts for 'a changeup,' gives kickoff duties to LB Brian Peters

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien had linebacker Brian Peters handle kickoff duties for two of the three in Sunday's 31-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Texans kicker Nick Novak is usually responsible for kickoffs, but O'Brien said he wanted "a changeup," and that he thought the move was successful.

"He had done a nice job with that during the practices leading up to this game," O'Brien said. "And actually, that kick worked out pretty well. I think we tackled them inside the 20-yard line. He's got a very strong leg. So sometimes we want to do that. We think it gives us a good chance to cover the kick."

Peters was ruled out for the rest of the game in the second half with a quad injury, so Novak handled the final kickoff after the Texans scored a touchdown with less than four minutes in the game.

Novak made 30- and 38-yard field goals Sunday but missed one from 51-yards.

The Texans had been successful on kickoffs this season, entering the game with the lowest touchback rate in the NFL (47.4) and ranking fifth in the league in allowing an average drive start at the 23.5-yard line.

On Sunday, the Vikings started at their own 16-yard line on Peters' first kickoff, and the Minnesota 24-yard line on the second.